2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ Build For Make A Wish Foundation By ExtremeTerrain – Throttle Out

2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ Build For Make A Wish Foundation By ExtremeTerrain – Throttle Out

Ryan: On this episode of Throttle Out we’re
making a wish come true by doing a TJ build for the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a great
kid named EJ. So check out the build. I’m Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com and in this
very special episode of Throttle Out we’re going to be completely redoing the TJ behind
me. This jeep belongs to Earl Junior and EJ is
the recipient of a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That wish was for us at Extreme Terrain to
completely redo his jeep for him. Now this is an older TJ. This is an ’02. It needs some normal restoration stuff which,
of course, we’re going to be doing, but we’re also going to completely change up everything
else about this jeep, as well. Big lift, wheels, tires, lights, interior,
exterior, everything you can imagine for a very deserving kid. Now with this being an older ’02 that spent
of its life up here in the rust belt, I’m sure we’re gonna have some rust to contend
with. This is probably gonna be one of the tougher
builds that we’ve done but it could not be for a more deserving kid. So let’s tear into this jeep and get started
with the build. As you can see, Tony’s been hard at work getting
this thing stripped down to only the bare essentials to transport it over to the paint
shop. This is going to get all of the body work
done, as well as the paint work, and while it’s away the interior is going to get its
treatment, as well. Once it comes back, we’re going to start working
on some of those bigger mods. We just got the jeep back from our local shop,
Malvern Collision. They did an awesome job hitting the interior
and the exterior of this jeep with a black bedliner material, which is exactly what EJ
wanted. They also sprayed the sport cage with a gloss
black because we’re going to be doing some gloss black accents on the exterior of this
jeep. The bumpers, the fenders, a few other things
like the light brackets, that are really gonna pop off of this matte with having a gloss
finish on them. We also got the interior back from the upholstery
shop. That, of course, is also black with some red
accents, exactly what EJ was looking for. Now let’s get this thing up on the lift and
we’ll start stripping the old suspension out of it. We got the jeep up on the rack to start with
some of the suspension upgrades, but before we started tearing the old suspension out
we found a couple of issues with the frame. Tony started poking around and we found a
lot of soft spots, not just one or two. I think this is beyond repairable and we’re
going to have to swap the frame. So not going to be great for our timeline,
but it is going to be good for EJ. He’s going to be getting a jeep that is way
more solid than what he dropped off. As you can tell, Tony’s been hard at work
tearing the jeep apart, getting it ready for that frame swap. The frame is still on its way but in the meantime
we’ve taken the opportunity to do some general maintenance to the engine, as well as some
cleaning up of some things. We’ve got the tug completely undercoated. As you can see, got some fresh paint on the
transmission. Also have a bunch of the other parts off the
engine in order to replace a bunch of leaky seals and just generally clean some things
up. Make sure that everything is nice and fresh
for when we get it back to EJ. So we’ve got the new frame back for EJ’s jeep. We actually sent a couple of our guys all
the way out to Ohio to pick this up themselves so we could get it back and start working
on it, and this one is in so much better condition than that old one. This has no rust on it and it’s going to ensure
that EJ can roll down that road being safe and also have a jeep that’s going to last
him a good long time. As you can see, a couple of the brackets for
the new lift kit have already been welded onto this new frame and we’re going to talk
a little bit more about that lift in just a second. We also have the axles back from ReGear. I want to give a big thank you to Linwood
over at 4X4 Suspension & Gear. He was able to give these axles a complete
rebuild and stuff a set of 456 gears in them. That’s going to help with those big 35 inch
tires. That’s gonna get them moving, helping to get
them to stop is going to be the big brake kit that we have from Black Magic Brake Pads. Those are going to be two piston calibers
and a larger rotor, as well, giving this a lot more stopping force with those big, heavy
35s. So now that we have a ton of new parts, it’s
time to start putting things together instead of taking them apart and we have a lot of
work to do. I’m gonna help Tony get the motor and trans
put in the new frame. As you can see, Tony’s been very busy. He has the body mounted back onto the frame
and the entire suspension and axles are underneath this jeep. This thing is a roller. It is really, really coming along. So as far as the suspension, we did something
pretty special on this jeep for EJ. We wanted to give him something that’s gonna
ride really, really comfortably but also work really well off road for him when he does
take this thing wheeling. So this is the Terraflex low center of gravity
long arm lift kit for the TJ. This is a total of five inches of lift and
this is the one that does come with the shocks. So as with any long arm kit, this does have
some different mounts for the control arms. You actually get rid of the factory control
arm mounts and the factory belly pan in order to mount these long arms, and what that really
does is flatten out those control arm angles to make a little bit more of a comfortable
ride. Now if you are doing a lot of wheeling on
the rocks, long arms you can get end up dragging them over the rocks a lot more but EJ’s gonna
spend more time probably down in the Pine Barrens in Jersey. Not really doing a lot of that wheeling on
the rocks, so this long arm system is gonna work really well for him, again, on road and
off road. This does come with the 9550 shocks from Terraflex,
which is a really nice choice for that on road driving. It’s going to be nice and comfortable for
him. As you can see, the rear is actually a triangulated
four link so it gets rid of the track bar. So when he does any sort of articulating off
road, that axle can move straight up and down instead of moving in an arc like a five link
system. Again, it’s just a really well built, really
well designed system that I think EJ is really going to like. We had the axles completely refreshed. These are 456 gears, which should work really
well for the tire size that we have on this jeep. So with a lift kit like this where you’re
doing so much customization, there are a couple of additional things you need to change, one
of those being the exhaust. So let me show you what we did up there. This jeep from the factory comes with a total
of three different cats. There’s a lot going on up here and this upper
control arm does get in the way of that. So what Tony was able to do was cut the factory
system, install this piece here which provides plenty of clearance for that upper control
arm, even at full droop, and then all of that leads back into this Flowmaster dBX muffler
that dumps right after this skid plate. So we could have gone with an over axle plate
and done a factory style exit, but that’s a lot of additional piping that EJ can bang
up on the trail. But also you have to weave all of that pipe
through all of the stuff that’s happening in the back of the jeep here. This dump makes it a lot easier, a lot cleaner,
gives EJ less to bang up on the trail, and it also provides some additional volume, which
is a nice addition, as well. So I’m going to go ahead and get this muffler
installed. Now the muffler is in place we’re pretty much
done underneath the jeep here. Everything’s been cleaned up, refreshed. We’ve run all new brake lines under this thing. As you can see, we have a slip yoke eliminator
and a new rear drive shaft in place for the new lifted height. Pretty much everything is buttoned up, so
we’re going to get this thing on the ground and then start working on some of the armor
up top. So we just finished installing a lot of the
armor on the side of EJ’s jeep and what I just finished up here are the Barricade rock
sliders. And this is really important when you are
doing some off roading because it protects this rocker area. If you come down an obstacle, a stump, a rock,
whatever it might be it can push the rocker up into the door, causing a very expensive
repair. So this is gonna offer some really nice protection
and the tubes on here also offer a little bit of a step. It’s a little high up. It’s not gonna be the best step but it isn’t
going to decrease your ground clearance at all, which is good for when you are going
off roading. So I think EJ’s really going to like these. On the rest of this side of the jeep, we went
with Barricade tubular stuff, as well. So we had the tubular fenders up front and
in the rear. So these are going to open up the wheel well
a little bit, providing a little bit of additional clearance. Not a ton of additional up travel because
jeep does a really good job with the factory fenders, but it does open up from front to
back and really gives the jeep a very aggressive look. One of the things that EJ really wanted was
a little bit of poke. He wanted the tires sticking out a little
bit past the fender. That’s definitely what we gave him, especially
up front here. He’s going to have that really wide bulldog
stance that he’s after. So we’re finishing up some of the armor on
EJ’s jeep. Of course we installed front and rear bumper
with the tire carrier out back, and for the bumpers we went with Poison Spyder stuff. They make really high quality stuff. We were able to get it in bare steel to get
it powder coated to match the rest of the jeep, and he absolutely wanted a stinger and
I don’t think he’s gonna be disappointed when he sees this front bumper from Poison Spyder. We topped the bumper off with a Rugged Ridge
winch. EJ does like to go and play in the sand down
in the Pines. Hopefully he’ll do some other off roading. If he does get himself stuck, he can get himself
unstuck with that winch and we carried the red theme a little bit further outside of
the jeep with those red d-rings. Now out back, also Poison Spyder rear bumper. I really like the Poison Spyder stuff. The carrier that’s on this bumper is incredibly
high quality. It’s not gonna rattle, it’s not gonna move,
make any noise, but most importantly, it has a ton of adjustability so we can put that
35 inch tire back here without having any space issues. Obviously we still have some odds and ends
to tie up on the tire carrier before that’s completely bolted up and then we’re gonna
move onto the lighting. So we just finished up doing a ton of wiring
on this jeep. We added a lot of lighting and a lot of other
accessories, all of which required a lot of wiring done, but all of that is buttoned up
now. So as you can see on the front of the jeep,
we have a 50 inch KC light bar. Here, a smaller 20 inch on the hood. That was definitely something EJ wanted, some
KC lights, so we hooked him up with some LED stuff that’s gonna be really, really bright,
work really well for him on the trail, but of course these re not lights to be used on
the road. For that, we upgraded his headlights. These are some Axial headlights. They have built-in running lights, also turn
signals built into them. These are a really nice piece. These are also going to be LED. They’re projector so, again, they’re going
to work really, really well and they’re going to be a massive upgrade over the factory sealed
beam headlights that come in a TJ. Those are notoriously poor. Now because of the fenders we installed on
this jeep, we also had to do something with both the marker light and the turn signal. So we went with some small 3/4 inch round
LEDs up here. We’ve got those wired in. I think they look really clean. It’ll keep him legal and also keep him safe. Underneath the jeep in the wheel wells and
underneath the rocker panels we have some rock lights under the jeep. For that we went with the Oracle rock lights. Those are going to be a Bluetooth setup. They give you a ton of different options. You can dim the lights, you can change the
color, they can move to the music. Obviously you can turn them on or off. They’re all switched Bluetooth. Now those aren’t the only Bluetooth switch
lights we have on the jeep. We actually set these auxiliary lights up
with the new Raxiom Bluetooth switching system. So this is the switch right here in my hand. No wires, battery operated, magnetic. You can stick this thing wherever you want. This gives you a total of four switches, so
we can turn on and off all of our stuff without having to run an additional wire, which makes
things really easy, and it also has a full power control box mounted right by the battery
here. So if EJ ever does need to change a relay
or a fuse, anything like that, it’s gonna be really easy to get to. We also upgraded all the lights on the back
of EJ’s jeep. The tail lights are also LED to match all
of the other LED lights on the exterior of this jeep. On the inside of the spare tire there is the
round Rugged Ridge third brake light, and because we moved the license plate to the
center of the spare tire, we have an off road only plate light which also has a built in
third brake light. So when EJ hits the brakes, this thing is
going to certainly light up on the back. It’s going to keep him nice and safe, but
also make sure that nobody mistakes his jeep for any other one on the road. One of the things EJ requested for his build
was a power soft top. As with most TJ tops that are a little bit
older, his soft top was showing a lot of age. A couple of minor tears in it. The windows were pretty well scratched up,
so he definitely needed a replacement anyway, and by going with this power top by MyTop
it makes it a lot easier to put the top up and down. This thing has a ton of engineering that goes
into it to make it so that you don’t have to remove the rear windows. All you have to do is unlatch it at the top
of the windshield, push a button, and it folds back just like any more modern convertible
vehicle does, making it a lot easier, again, to put that top up and down. So that’s something that we were able to get
installed for EJ and I think he’s going to be really excited to use this thing when he’s
driving his jeep on those nice days. We did a good bit of refreshing and cleaning
up of the interior, but we also did a lot of modernizing at EJ’s request. One of the things that he wanted was a few
more creature comforts, so we did add some power windows and power locks to this jeep. We tied the locks right into a remote start
and an alarm system. So this has a lot more creature comforts in
it than the TJ did even when it rolled off the assembly line. Power locks and power windows weren’t even
an option, but they’re installed in this jeep now. We also installed a new radio in this jeep. So we swapped out the head unit, as well as
all four speakers. We added a sub and a sub box in the back and
an amplifier. So this thing is going to sound as good as
it looks. We also put a CB radio in the jeep, that way
when EJ is cruising on the trails he can communicate with all of his buddies. So we just got finished tightening down a
couple of the bolts on the seats here. Obviously these seats have been completely
refreshed, as well as the carpeting in this jeep. We went ahead and recovered EJ’s factory TJ
seats with a vinyl and red stitching. It’s gonna hold up really well for him and
these also have brand new foam. So this things are better than new. We did front seats, rear seats, we even did
the sun visors and the sound bar, so it gives it a really cohesive look and really able
to carry that black and red stitching from the inside to the outside, which is something
that EJ really wanted. We are going to top off the carpeting with
a set of Barricade floor mats, that way it keeps everything looking good for a good,
long time. I do want to give a big thank you to Poison
Spyder, Terraflex, and KC. All of them donated parts to help make this
build possible. Now the last couple of steps here are taking
this thing to get an alignment, give it a little bit of an on road shakedown, and finally
deliver it back to EJ. So we just got the jeep back from the alignment
shop. I’m just going to take it on a quick shakedown
run and see how everything feels before we get it back to EJ. Now one of the first things you notice about
this jeep when you get in it is how comfortable it is. We were able to install these new seats in
the jeep mostly to carry the black and red theme from the inside to the outside, but
these seats are very, very comfortable, as well, having all new foam. The next thing you notice when you fire it
up and start driving it is how much of a powerful feeling it has, even though it has big 35s
on it. Now usually when you go with the big 35 inch
tire you can lose a lot of that pep, but by putting gears in it we give it back a lot
of that drivability. And being that this is EJ’s daily driver,
that was something that was really important for us to give back to him. Well, that’s gonna wrap it up for the shakedown
run. The jeep feels great so time to reveal this
thing to EJ, see how he likes it. So this is it. It’s finally time to give the jeep back to
EJ. We’re here at Turn5, our parent company’s
block party. Tons of people here having a great time. I cannot wait to see EJ’s reaction to his
new jeep. Steve: Thank you everybody for coming out
today. It’s awesome to have so many people out and
be a part of what’s gonna happen here today for Earl. He wanted his wish to be for Turn5 to overhaul
his jeep. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for the
amount of time, energy, and effort they put in, and I have no doubt that Earl is gonna
be impressed. And it couldn’t go to a nicer, more deserving
kid. Ryan: So I was able to speak with EJ early
in this process about really what he wanted his jeep to look like. With being an older jeep, it did need a ton
of work, more than we even thought in the beginning, but it was a very rewarding build. It was a lot of fun. Steve: You guys ready to pull the cover off? Audience: Yes. Steve: Are you ready? EJ: More than ready. Steve: Five, four, three, two, one, go. Let’s give him a round of applause. What do you think/ EJ: It’s everything I could have wanted. Steve: Do you want to start it up EJ? EJ: Yeah. Steve: All right. Go for it. Ryan: Now that you see it in the flesh, what’s
your favorite part? EJ: Probably the train horn and convertible
top. It’s amazing. It’s everything I could have asked for. Ryan: So that’s gonna do it for this very
special episode of Throttle Out. We finally got to give the jeep back to EJ. Man, I hope you enjoy it so much. Thanks for letting us work on it. Hey, guys, make sure you subscribe to our
YouTube channel. That way you can check out other great videos
like this one and some of the best jeep content out there.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Learn more about this build & check out the parts here: https://terrain.jp/2JChWR7
    Subscribe for Daily Jeep Videos: http://terrain.jp/SubscribeXTyt

  2. everyone saying things like __blank__ part needs to go,
    excuse you this custom build wasn't for you, princess.

    I happen to think its pretty bad ass, I'm glad the guy likes it.

  3. Power windows would be awesome considering I was charged at by a man with a mace can, couldnt get my window up fast enough, but removeable doors on the other hand are cool

  4. I’m not trying to be rude or anything but why add all that suspension and bigger tires if he’s not even gonna take it out?

  5. This is so amazing these guys could have skipped out on the frame work and other options but major props to these guys for all this

  6. You guys did a great job, one thing I noticed was the lack of a slip yoke eliminator. Those rear U joints are going to last about 2 months.

  7. Great video and a really nice build. He had the reaction you would hope for – that was AWESOME! Thanks for putting in the wrench time on this project. Well done gentlemen!


  8. The Oracle lights system could cause a problem with the police 😂they don't like these lights.cause they're similar to the police lights and putting them is illegal

    Tell me if I'm WRONG guys

  9. If you're looking for the convertible Softop they do not sell them for TJ's. New owner's say it should be for sale 2020 for around 3 grand. Out of my price range! Lol

  10. Amazing, make me want to rebuild my own kind of jeep, i wonder if autoshops allow volunteers to allow a new learner learn the ropes haha

  11. Wow!! Congrats for what u all are doing, you are the type of humans USA needs. Thank you for being good people. God Bless all you!!

  12. Where did you get the frame? Great build! Didn’t even know someone made a power top how cool is that?!

  13. While I'm not a big fan of the grille, it would've looked better matching the rest of the body. 👍 The accents should be the gloss, not the face, imo.

    Otherwise it looks pretty sweet, especially for a free build, lol.

  14. This wish is not what it seems, I have poured thousands of my own dollars into this in the year since the Wish. After the first two months make a wish and Turn5 washed there hands of us. Mechanical failures happen routinely it has been towed too many times to count, to this day and it is not running right. I feel horrible for my son, the only child in history who’s make a wish failed.

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